WEST ORANGE, NJ - Neil Simon's 'dramedy', "The Good Doctor," is premiering at West Orange High School on Nov. 13, and the actors are anxious to sing its praises.
Simon wrote the play in 1973 as a series of nine stories and eleven vignettes, narrated by an unnamed writer (representing Anton Chekhov) sharing his stories with the audience. Though not one of his better known works, the play was notable for its serious life lessons couched in comical scenarios.
Director Bruce Clough gathered the 16-member cast to chat about "The Good Doctor" with TAP into West Orange. After working for several hours each day after school leading up to rehearsals, Ronald Williams said, "You get close to the cast. You develop a great sense of community and become cohesive. You do your part."
Junior Micah Joy Edgehill said, "It's nice to see some new faces stepping up." The ensemble cast allows for several actors playing multiple and diverse roles.
"It gives you the opportunity for new experiences playing different characters," she continued.
Clough and the cast talked about the context of the play, set in 1890s Russia. "Being involved in this show brings me closer to my culture," said Sachelle Bise, whose family background is Russian. "I play two very different characters, and it's almost like an escape for me."
When TAP into West Orange asked why people should come and see the show, Victoria Estoque said, "The show has a moral...good things will come to those who work hard enough."
"It's a great cast with colorful characters," noted Andreas Mathikolonis.
The Narrator, the Good Doctor, is played by junior Henry Gardner. Gardner said, "The Good Doctor is a comedy that takes a look at life and the human condition. It has lessons to teach in an over-the-top way."
The show runs for approximately 90 minutes and will premiere in the West Orange High School Auditorium at 51 Conforti Avenue on Thursday, Nov. 13, with a free performance for Senior Citizens at 7:00 pm and a special $5.00 Student Admission.
Ticket prices are $8.00 in advance and $10.00 at the door.